Mushroom Risotto

This is a delicious quick lunch which uses up the old mushrooms you may have lying about.

Chop the mushrooms, onions, garlic, bacon (if want to include) and get a litre of chicken/veggie stock ready plus 200g of risotto rice.

Throw the chopped bits into a pan with a splash of oil and cook. After a few minutes throw in the rice and add liquid. You may want to add peas and or spinach or whatever you jolly well like. Leave for a few minutes to simmer. Add Parmesan cheese and enjoy.

Tip: This could be boxed up for tomorrow’s lunch too.

Bacon

Mushrooms

Onion

Garlic

1 litre of Chicken/Veggie stock

200 grams Risotto rice

Peas or spinach, etc.

Seasoning and mixed herbs

Easter prep, gym, cooking and a flat tyre…

Had a good week. Was invited to a family meal ūü•ė . It was a lovingly home cooked Spanish tapas and absolutely delicious. We had bruschetta (as photo), meat balls, tortilla, olives, veggies, canary potatoes, prawns and manchego cheese. The pud was homemade brownie with ice cream and was absolutely amazing. The beer was Punk IPA by BrewDog which is my all time favourite beer, at the moment. Must say, tapas is a great way to entertain because you can pick what you like which, in my case, is most of it. Oops.

Been to the gym three times and been on a couple of walks. Tried to go on about 1200 calories and some days have been ok but others, as above, not great. However, feel more in control as not stuffing chocs and biscuits so feel a lot better. With Easter Sunday looming this is my main aim. Upwards and onwards. Really aiming to start properly after Easter.

On Saturday, did the booze and bits top up shopping and discovered a flat tyre when we returned to our car. Luckily, handy husband was with me and put the spare tyre on. This seemed to fascinate the local shopping population. Looked a fairly simple operation but I probably wouldn’t have the strength for the nuts. We then had to rush to the tyre shop and the man insisted I stayed in the car, like lady muck, while he jacked the car up! So I carried on nonchalantly writing this blog post! All part of life’s rich tapestry! Can you change a tyre?

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and I’m looking forward to a jolly family day of roast lamb and all the trimmings including homemade Yorkshire puddings, chocolate pudding and cake. Then I’m back on the running, gym and healthy diet routine. I promise.

The obligatory Easter chocolate cake is a simple affair…

8oz marg

8oz caster sugar

8oz self raising flour

4 eggs

Chocolate drops

Splash of treacle and or milk (makes it fudgy and yummy)

2 oz Chocolate powder

Mix together and put into two 8 inch tins.

Icing is 2oz butter with around 3oz icing sugar and 1oz chocolate powder. Mix with a tiny drop of boiling water. To be honest, you don’t have to be too careful about measurements for the icing.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Easter.

Please don’t forget to press the FOLLOW button. ūüėČ

Health and Fitness Update and Plan

So I have to confess that I’ve put on a few pounds during the last few weeks. Concentrated on exercise but think I’ve become tired of dieting and staying at¬†1200 calories a day. Well, you would, wouldn’t you?

Recently, I’ve started to eat too many sweets, biscuits and so on but pleased to report that I found the experience quite bad, after months of being good. I felt exhausted and listless and to be honest, quite uncomfortable. The gym personal training¬†session, this morning confirmed my fears and I’ve put over half a stone back on. However, recently I have stopped eating sweets and realise I need to eat more healthy stuff which will be easier now spring¬†has finally appeared.

My plan is this:

Weigh daily

Record what I eat and drink daily

More vegetables and fruit

Healthier options

Exercise

Drink more water

I recently listened to a podcast about overeating and found the ideas interesting.

  • Affirmations in the evening (when it gets hard).
  • Tell yourself you WILL¬†NOT OVER EAT, JUST FOR¬†TODAY (worry about tomorrow.. the next day) Love this!
  • Just have one type of bad food, if you have to. ¬†Studies show if you binge eat, you will buy a variety of foods (sweets, chocolate, ice cream). If you stick to one option, you won’t eat so much, which makes sense to me. *

 

* Source: Podcast – Primal Potential, Mastering Fat Loss, Strategies to stop binge eating (on Spotify)

 

 

Flowers, blossom, bored cows plus reasons to walk…

Last week, I went on another country walk with the local walking group. This was to encourage me to get some exercise, enjoy a guided countryside jaunt and be sociable (shock/horror). Unfortunately, I had to pass my friend’s house and was fearful her dog, little Oscar, may spot me as I walked passed. Think I got away with it! He wasn’t invited on the walk because¬†I thought it may¬†prove too exacting. I was right. It was exacting¬†for me. As we strolled through the woods, the chap leading the walk said we were going to do a circular walk around the village. We live in a large village.

As we confidently strolled up the hills it was easy to succumb to the temptation of slowing down but since going to the gym I tend to climb faster than my walking pace. ¬†Well, you want to get there, don’t you?

Unfortunately, this meant waiting for the leader’s wife. Couldn’t help wondering why her husband, the leader, didn’t pick an easier route bearing in mind his wife’s state of health. Anyway, two hours in, I was thinking we were nearly home and then arrived at the local private posh school, located among fields and trees and realised, to my horror, that we had at least a mile or so to go. Everybody slowed down, which in my view, makes it tiring. I ended up chatting sympathetically to the leader’s wife as she struggled up the umpteenth¬†hill. Tried to take her mind of it by talking about her son and his family. Guess it helped a bit and luckily the others stopped to wait while they chatted to a dog walker and an impatient dog who kept yapping and obviously wanted to get on. The dog owner extolled the virtues of keeping a dog on a¬†lead even in woodland but I thought he was bonkers. Oscar would hate it and loves to chase everything in sight with absolutely no success.

Anyway, it was, despite wondering if the walk was ever going to end, quite uplifting. The sun was out, as were the first signs of spring with the odd bluebell in bloom, about six weeks ahead of time. We stopped to photograph the lambs, bored, sleepy cows, blossom and wild flowers. Felt quite healthy by the time I arrived home, which is always a good thing and I’m pleased to see that there are plenty of benefits to walking (see below) but I drink and eat too much as well. Don’t we all?

The walk was quite arduous and six miles long. The leader’s wife looked quite worn out by the end of it so I hope her husband made her a cup of tea when home. We enjoyed tea, although I would have stopped for a beer if there had been a pub on the way home. I didn’t get an invitation to go out for one that evening either, as we were so worn out.

Why I walk

To be active, lose weight and become healthier *lives in hope*

The walk needs to be fast and it is a fun challenge to stride quickly up hills

Great to see heritage trails, woodlands, animals, wild plants orchards, etc

Helps the 10,000 steps a day target

 

A study found the following benefits of walking which had¬†sound enough reasons, particularly the last one…

‚ÄúWe may never avoid becoming completely old, but we may delay the time we become old. We may look younger when we‚Äôre 70 and may live into our nineties. Exercise buys you three to seven additional years of life. It is an antidepressant, it improves cognitive function, and there is now evidence that it may retard the onset of dementia.‚ÄĚ (1)

Research indicates if you walk for two minutes every hour, you may increase lifespan by 33 per cent! You should walk 10,000 steps everyday according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Enjoy walking and enjoy the grumpy dogs, bored cows and beautiful countryside too.

(1) Source: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/09/11/daily-walk-benefits.aspx

Three Day Stews

I have always cooked stews with enough meat for two days but recently I accidentally did enough for three days. I found I can adapt a stew by accompanying mash or roast potatoes, rice, cous cous and so on. Also, you can add some spices and various vegetables to make the meal variable and delicious.

Today, I’ve cooked chicken, beef and pork casseroles and left them on a slow, low heat to cook.

Basically, I divided the meat into three separate pots and threw into the oven on a high heat to crisp up the meat.

Whilst they were getting a blast of heat, I proceeded to cut up the vegetables: carrots, onion, pepper, mushrooms with seasoning and herbs.

Then I made a pot of gravy for the stews which consisted of meat stock, veg stock, tomato purée and a cheeky splash of port. Oh yes.

The pork also had an additional sauce of honey, French mustard, herbs and seasoning to make it sweet and succulent.

After an hour I took the three pots of meat out of the oven and added the honey mixture to the pork, gravy an veggies to all three stews. Only a little gravy to the pork though because hoping for a sticky thick sauce for the pork. After about six hours slow cooking, they will go in my freezer and I shall have one stew per week. Each one will last for three days.

You can adapt them, as above, and it means when you come home from a long day at work, you have something yummy to tuck into.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

ÔĽŅIt’s All About (The) Blogging Niche

I’ve been blogging for a few months and I’m happy with how it is going.  However, I am aware that, as the title suggests, it is a little too much of a mishmash.

When researching advice on starting a blog, some bloggers suggest finding a niche, but some think it is fine just to blog about multiple passions. What do you think? Blogging was originally meant to be a log about life issues. The most popular blogs are Huffington and Mashable.

I’ve decided to focus on health, fitness and wellbeing. The wellbeing bit, will cover reviews, food and life observations. This does cover a lot, which is the idea of the blog, but retains some sort of a niche. I will throw in the odd book/film review so I suspect nothing will change.

Thank you to everyone that has followed my blog and put up with my musings about life. Personally, I really enjoy writing the blog and plan to continue.

Thank you,

Andy x

A Weekend Getaway

Decided to go down to the coast and languish on the beach for a weekend getaway. The weekend weather looked promising and the sun was blazing so it will be warm by the coast, won’t it? With chairs, jumper and a scarf, which resembles a blanket, I thought I’d be warm enough. I was correct. Well, sort of. Although blustery, it felt quite cosy watching the waves, reading my new book and relaxing. The warm sunshine on my face was warm and welcome. Not sure I’ve managed to sit on a British beach before, in March? This trip has been quite uplifting because the British winter seems interminable this year and I’m glad of some sea air.

It is invigorating to get out and about rather than succumbing to cabin fever. I have been known to meander to the sea shore, visit art galleries and enjoy the tranquil break by the sea, doing my own thing.

After a couple of hours, I took off and stopped for a cuppa, which tasted of sawdust, then walked to the pier. Why do cafes provide rubbish tea? The place had a negative atmosphere when I walked in. Maybe it was my windswept look that shocked ūüė≥ them. Or maybe the putrid tea.

The brisk walk became suddenly very brisk. Ok, now it felt a bit chilly, so I admired the floral display and pier, then, turned around and went back, speedily, to the warmth of the car. Was I a bit bonkers to visit the coast on a windy, sunny day in March? Well, it felt great. Always feels like a mini holiday when you spend some time away from your normal environment.

Do you do this? If not, perhhaps you should. But pick the cafe stop wisely.